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When Luther Kalb worked at a hospital unit for children with psychiatric problems and developmental disabilities, he heard "horror stories" about the children entering the hospital through the Emergency Room (ER). Later, he became part of a research team that created the first large study of psychiatric-related ER visits for children with autism. The study reached interesting conclusions about how often children with autism visit the ER and why their insurance might play a role.

Parents of children with autism are faced with many difficult decisions on how to best help their child. There is a variety of options to consider, including educational programming, behavioral treatments, alternative therapies, obtaining further assessments -- the list goes on and on. This 2008 article is meant to help parents considering whether to try treatment with antipsychotic medication.

What types of medications are children with ASD taking? Based on the IAN data, the vast majority of the medications are psychotropic. Parents have submitted information on about 2,900 stimulants, neuroleptics, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and anxiolytics, while they have submitted information on only about 200 nonpsychiatric drugs. These nonpsychiatric medications range from antifungals (like Diflucan) to antibiotics, antihistamines, and laxatives.